AdWhirl vs Mobclix: They both suck

I’ve been trying to improve my ad situation for 2 free utility apps I have written.

There are two solutions I’ve heard of to help you maximise clicks and reduce dependance on a particular ad network, they are AdWhirl and Mobclix, and offer different approaches. With AdWhirl, you sign up to as many ad networks as you want, and intergrate all their SDKs, but you use AdWhirl to mediate which ad network is shown. Requests go to its server, so you can adjust the network percentages, and API keys any time.  With Mobclix, you just integrate their API, and they farm out requests to multiple networks.

Why do they both suck then?

I read a lot of information about Mobclix, and it seems they are very very slow at paying.  This information was as recent as December 2010. From what I read, if you email one of the insiders (and complain publicly), they can fast track your payments. I don’t want to waste my time trying to chase up payments.  This is a non-starter. All the tech in the world is useless if you don’t get the money you have earn’t. I don’t really care for claims that “it’s better now” or “it’s improving”, this is something that should be right from day 1 (and like I said, I have read about very recent problems), otherwise it’s nothing more than a Ponzi scam.

AdWhirl is a great idea, but suffers from a few design defects that prevent me from using it.  Firstly, there is no iPad support.  Everything was wonderful back when there was just the iPhone and 320×50 ads, but now we have many different sizes, and it seems, at least for now, that they couldn’t work out a good way to mediate it all.

Another problem with AdWhirl is that you select percentages for your networks (including house ads), then it has a backfill list that it tries in order.  My problem with this, is that I *always* want it to go to iAd first.  iAds are just that much more profitable.  But when I do this (by setting iAds to 100%), I lose the mediation percentages feature, and it just goes down my backfill one by one.

The nail in the coffin for AdWhirl is that it was bought out by AdMob (which was bought out by Google). It’s open source, so there is a measure of trust that it is not favouring AdMob – but the problem here, is that AdMob have very little incentive to continue development, since it basically has the affect of reducing requests to their own network. So I get the impression the code base is languishing unmaintained.  Yes it’s open source – but no, I don’t want to spend my time working for AdMob unpaid…

So I implemented a custom solution. Actually in less time than I spent fooling around with AdWhirl, et. al.  Basically I request an iAd. If there isn’t one, I request an AdMob one [can sub in any other network here, if AdMob disappoints] (which internally will use house ads for unfilled requests), and if *that* fails, I show a static ad I bundled with the App.  It’s really not that hard to setup, and AdMob seem pretty decent.  This also works great for iPad.

AdMob however does not have the ability for iPad house ads.  This is very lame – the iPad is over a year old, and how hard can it be to simply offer a different size for house ads? Very disappointing, but for now, it’s not worth my time to worry about it.

AdMob have an interesting ad exchange idea. So if you can’t display any paid ads, it will display an add for someone else’s app – and someone will then display one for yours, free!

Well anyway:  grab OS Grid Converter and DMS Converter free on the App store, if you have a need for such tools.  In a week from now you will get iPad support, and AdMob ads…

8 comments on “AdWhirl vs Mobclix: They both suck

  1. Thanks for the information. I was looking into integrating AdWhirl, but I found their documentation lacking. For now I think I’ll stick with iAd.

  2. Hey Paul,

    Glad it was useful. I would definitely recommend implementing *something* to fall back to when the iAd doesn’t get an ad, as the fill rates are very low.

    What I decided to do was fall back on *1* additional network than try and go the mediation route (as my conclusion is neither AdWhirl and MobClix are suitable for me).

    My suggestion would be to find a single decent ad network with all the features you want, and fall back to that when you can’t show an iAd.


  3. Let me share some of my experience with ad networks here.

    I have about seven iPhone Apps and 2 Android Apps on the stores, was using AdMob and had a damn low eCPC on all those apps. (about 15M impressions monthly)

    40% of my traffic is from Europe, 30% US, 30% spread across the rest of the world.

    Two weeks ago I started using a network called MobFox for my EU/US Traffic. I decided to sign up because they are offering a pretty unique feature called eCPMcontrol which allows you to actually set a minimum base price for the ads you receive.

    Still using a fallback option to MobClix in case mobfox does not serve an ad.

    Here are the stats for now:

    MobFox: EU/US fill-rate: 67%, eCPM $4,5, CTR 1,3%

    MobClix basically fills the rest with a $0,9 eCPM and a 1,4% CTR

    Still using iAds between MobFox>MobClix but the fillrate is damn low here.

    Hope I could help!


  4. I am using adwhirl for long time. I used AdMob + iAd + House Ad there. I’m quite happy by using adwhirl. But I’ve some doubt, as google acquired admob and now admob is supporting ad exchange program, so will adwhirl be shut down soon. Who knows…

  5. Mobclick is lier.I use to earn for 120$ since 4 months ago but Until now they never paid me.
    Don’t believe them.You’ll waste time.

  6. It is an old post, but seeing that Mobclix is claiming here that payment problems are solved and people might be stepping into the Mobclix trap, I felt the need to react.

    Mobclix payments are again way, way behind in 2012. They currently owe me around 11K of which 3K is now overdue. Their last payment was in May 2012. They claim to be working on fixing the backlogs, but each and every time the dates are pushed back.

    They just published an updated schedule on their site: in October they will be paying out the July (!) payments. Mind you, those are earnings originating from April 2012 (3 months late), so after October I’m still in the dark for 6 months of revenue (and that’s where the biggest amounts are).

    I’ve switched to Mobfox/iAd (I do not know whether that was a good decision yet, but potentially earning less and actually getting paid seems on paper to be a good thing).

    My 2 cts for everyone that is looking for an ad provider:
    – for now do not integrate Mobclix if you really want to get paid. Their dashboard is nice and it is fulfilling to see the amount of money earned increase by the minute, but if they don’t pay it’s worthless;
    – do not put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you can switch instantly to another network.

  7. Pink, I hope you have some luck in getting your money. I too am wary when hearing “it’s better”, bit of a trust deficit I guess, but why was it broken to start with?

    My custom implemented failover system of iAd -> AdMob -> House has been working well, especially now that AdMob will run Google AdSense ads. No troubles getting paid from Apple, or Google…